North Korea holds military parade weeks before US presidential elections
North Korea held a rare night-time military parade in Pyongyang to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party on Saturday.
North Korea typically uses its parades to show off new missiles and weaponry. Experts say intercontinental ballistic missiles were evident during Saturday morning’s event.
Kim Jong Un thanked the military for help in recovering from a series of damaging storms over the summer and praised the country’s efforts to prevent any coronavirus outbreak.
The last time North Korea broadcast a military parade live on television was in 2017 when it showed off a number of large ICBMs amid heightened tension with the United States.
While this parade comes just weeks ahead of the US presidential election.
According to South Korea’s military, the parade took place before dawn on Saturday. The reason for its early timing is not yet known.
The program opened with an image of a propaganda poster for the commemorations, showing three North Koreans holding up its symbols of a hammer, sickle, and brush, and the slogan: “The biggest glory to our great party.”
No foreign media or foreigners were allowed to attend, so analysts are relying on edited state-media footage which is being released to assess the parade.
The images show that none of the participants or the audience lined up in the stands were wearing masks, but there were far fewer citizens than usual on the square itself.
However, North Korea says it has had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but strict border closures and other measures it imposed to prevent an outbreak have further strained its economy, which is heavily reliant on trade with China.